Florence Welch & William Morris

14th July 2018

Whether you’ve heard of Florence Welch for her catchy chart topping hits or for her eclectic style – there’s few that haven’t heard her songs such as Dog Days Are Over either on the radio or dancing round in a club. It was only when we were reading about an article on Welch in NME’s recent article “Florence Welch’s guide to South London – the real-life places referenced in her new album” that we learnt of the influence William Morris had over Florence as she chose his former home Red House in Bexleyheath to shoot her photoshoot for The Observer. 

It’s also reported that so influenced by Morris, Florence went on her ‘Golden Circle’ tour in 2016 around Iceland – where Morris so famously visited, and played four incredible sets at places Morris had visited on his own tour of Iceland back in the 1870s. She dedicated the tour to Morris and if you managed to get hold of one of her tour booklets, you’ll see how beautiful it is – filled with elements of William Morris designs along with her lyrics in his typography – including information too on his Icelandic adventures that she was following. In particular we love a photo we saw of the book that showed an abstract side profile sketch of Morris’ side profile, complete with elements of his designs in gold making up his hair and beard. They especially spoke about The Golden Type which is his most famous typeface, used in Gothic Literature, poetry and Morris’ novels. Florence used the ‘Golden’ part to again reference Morris in her tour, a further nod to her inspiration for the tour and was the only typeface used on the branding of the tour – incredible that it’s still influencing artists of today. Though we know how much Morris still influences artists and designers, arguably also activists, poets and writers, it’s amazing to know he also has captured the attention of one of the biggest stars of the music world. From her clothes alone, it’s easy to tell that Florence is influenced by the arts – some of her clothes are art in themselves, so as a fan it’s fun to read about her style influences as well as her musical – especially when Morris is one of them! 

We were so excited to see all this and see our friends at the William Morris society being recognised for their work in the booklet and how Florence encouraged her fans to visit the buildings associated with Morris including Red House and Kelmscott House. Have you ever visited Red House? If you want to learn more about Morris, his work and life story and to see where Florence thought was beautiful and inspiring enough to be the backdrop of her photoshoot, make sure to make a visit!